EU food watchdog maintains current BPA levels are safe

01 October 2010 10:03  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--There is no need to lower the limit of bisphenol A (BPA) intake as there is no new evidence that low doses of the chemical have any adverse effects on human health, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) said late on Thursday.

The health watchdog said that it had concluded after a review of recent scientific literature and studies, which have suggested there may be possible neurodevelopmental effects from the ingestion of BPA, that they could not identify any new evidence that would lead them to revise the current tolerable daily intake for BPA of 0.05 mg/kg weight.

The EFSA came to the same conclusion in its 2006 opinion and reconfirmed it in 2008, but said it had carried out the new review following requests from the European Commission to look into recent studies.

Some European countries have sought to lower the intake of BPA, which has been banned for use in baby bottles in Australia, Denmark, Canada and France, after several recent scientific studies linked exposure to increased risk of health problems such as heart disease, breast cancer, reproductive disorders and diabetes.

“In its review of available scientific literature, the panel notes that some human epidemiological studies suggest associations between exposure to BPA and coronary heart disease and reproductive disorders but the design of these studies does not allow one to conclude whether BPA is the cause of these health effects,” said the EFSA.

The EFSA panel said that based on its literature review, it did not consider the currently available data as convincing evidence that BPA would have any adverse effects on aspects of behaviour, such as learning and memory.

However, earlier this year, Jochen Flasbarth, the president of Germany’s federal environmental protection agency, Umweltbundesamt (UBA), urged producers, importers and users of BPA to switch to alternatives following advice from the US Department of Health & Human Services and the country's Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to parents and manufacturers to shift even further away from BPA.

“EFSA is monitoring ongoing publications on BPA and is aware of studies being carried out and planned worldwide,” said the EFSA.

BPA is used in the manufacture of polycarbonate (PC) plastic found in such items as reusable drinking bottles, infant feeding bottles and storage containers, and in the lining of some food and drinks cans.

For more on bisphenol A visit ICIS chemical intelligence
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By: Hilde Ovrebekk
+44 20 8652 3214

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